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Tong takes pressure as he tells Bloaters to go out and play

PUBLISHED: 12:40 04 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:31 30 June 2010

Craig Roberts gets up to clear a Brantham attack before notching the Bloaters' winning goal.

Craig Roberts gets up to clear a Brantham attack before notching the Bloaters' winning goal.

Last weekend's important win at Brantham Athletic was a giant step towards Great Yarmouth Town's promotion aim, but manager Paul Tong says his young players should not worry about that, and just go out and play, writes Gerry Brown.

Last weekend's important win at Brantham Athletic was a giant step towards Great Yarmouth Town's promotion aim, but manager Paul Tong says his young players should not worry about that, and just go out and play, writes Gerry Brown.

“We've said to them to just go out and do what you've been doing. Don't change anything, keep believing and keep doing the simple things. The pressure is all on myself and Trevor (Harrison, assistant manager). We just want them to get out there and play football.”

Admitting that he felt drained after the 2-1 success at third-placed Brantham, Tong said: “I was utterly physically and mentally exhausted after the game but I knew how important the game was for us.

“They might realise at the end of the season how important that result is. It's the teams around us that should be worrying - they have to beat us, and that's a new experience for our lads too.”

Tong paid tribute to the dedication of Stewart Roach, who not only returned to action soon after his injury against March, but scored a brave goal on Saturday in testing times for him personally.

“His sister was in Addenbrooks for a serious operation which took eight hours on Friday night and the lad got precious little sleep, so to come over from there and then perform like he did ... and after the game he immediately returned to Cambridge!”

“Roachy's had a bit of a goal drought since scoring against Thetford on December 12, but if you get the ball to him in the box he'll score, that's what he does.”

He said Luke Fell and Jonny King had their best games for the club but there are injury worries again.

“Adam Sewell did his knee in and Scott Woodcock had to come off with a knock. Five players were missing from the team, and squad strengthening will continue. Nothing is won yet but I'm sure a few teams would be happy to change places with us.”

Tuesday's game at Team Bury was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch, so Yarmouth's next challenge comes from Saffron Walden Town tomorrow at the Wellesley, kick-off 3pm, followed by a Ridgeons League Cup diversion when Wroxham visit the Wellesley on Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm.

Following this, the next home first team game is not scheduled until Saturday, February 27 with a visit from second-placed FC Clacton, the only team to date to have lowered the Bloaters' colours in league fixtures.

Brantham Athletic 1, Great Yarmouth Town 2

Yarmouth boss Tong was “well pleased” with his side's eighth league away win.

“We looked a quality side in the first half, which we bossed without breaking too much sweat, and apart from one mistake which led to their goal, we always looked strong and competent at the back.”

Brantham leading marksman Ollie Mann opened the scoring, as he did in the 1-1 draw at the Wellesley in September, but the Bloaters fought back with two goals before

half-time.

And although the home side mounted some concerted attacks in the second half, their finishing did not match their efforts, even to the extent of missing a penalty. When they were on target, Michael Hilton was strong in goal.

“In the second half they outplayed us, but we showed the resilience and steel that I know we've got. We might even have snatched another couple, but that would have been unfair on them,” said Tong.

Yarmouth went 14 points clear of second-placed FC Clacton, who have four games in hand, their game on Saturday against Gorleston being one of many postponed.

Yarmouth's win also extended their unbeaten league run to 19 games. Their only defeat up to last Saturday was at Clacton, who visit the Wellesley on February 27.

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